Considering all the Guardians of the Galaxy-adjacent news we’ve gotten this summer, this announcement is actually pretty far from shocking: Production on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which was in the very early stages, has been put on hold. Temporarily.
Variety reports that this shutdown affects “less than 20” crew members in Atlanta, without specifying which department they were in. That’s a small number in the face of such a huge production, but a telling setback for a film that’s currently without a director after James Gunn was removed from the project in July. Since then, the cast of the hugely popular Marvel franchise has voiced their support for Gunn, though a recent report said that it wasn’t likely Disney would re-hire him for the project.
While the studio—which didn’t offer comment on the shutdown report—figures out how to move forward with Guardians Vol. 3, it makes sense that it wouldn’t keep a crew on the payroll for a movie with a vacant director’s chair. Obviously, the production timeline will now need some major reconfiguring. Even before Gunn’s departure, the film (which was originally due to begin filming next year) had no release date set, a circumstance that seems unlikely to change anytime soon.